(Photo credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)
Vincent Norrman of Sweden shot a 7-under-par 65 on Sunday to take a one-stroke victory in the difficult weather-delayed Irish Open.
The Norrman, who improved 20 places over the final 18 holes, shot a bogey-free round to edge past challengers to finish on 14-under 274 at The K Club in Straffan, County Kildare.
His pursuers included third-round leader Hurly Long of Germany – an even-par 72 on Sunday to finish at 13 under – and Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy (74), who fell 13 places on the leaderboard to 16th.
The Norwegian carded his only unblemished round of the tournament, following rounds of 68, 71 and 70 with seven birdies on Sunday, including at the par-5 18th hole for the third time.
“It means everything,” Norrman said of his second DP World Tour title in his 14th appearance. “Obviously, such a cool event to play. The fans have been incredible. I’ve had a really fun week.”
Norrman, who won July’s Barbasol Championship in a playoff at a PGA Tour/DP Tour event in Kentucky, birdied Nos. 7, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14 and 18 on Sunday.
“The first nine was huge,” he said. “I played like that and then I birdied the seventh and ninth to get some speed down the hill. I think that was the key today.
“Obviously you’re doing something good if you win. It’s a world-class event, and frankly, I can’t believe it’s happened.”
Long, who entered the day one stroke ahead of England’s Jordan Smith and two ahead of McIlroy, had an adventurous round. He birdied Nos. 4, 9, 12 and 18, but bogeyed Nos. 2, 8, 13 and 14.
Four players tied for third at 12 under: Grant Forrest (70) of Scotland, Ryan Fox (70) of New Zealand, Thriston Lawrence (66) of South Africa and Ireland’s Shane Lowry (68), the 2009 Irish Open champion.
McIlroy, ranked No. 2 in the world, bogeyed the first hole as well as Nos. 4, 13 and 18. He also bogeyed the par-4 No. 11, bogeyed the par-5 No. 7 and posted an eight on the par-5 No. 16, where he went par -eagle and bogey the first three rounds.
–Field Level Media